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Fed up by the junk in some of the food aimed at children? Dazed and confused by the number of additives and ingredients listed on the label? Then check out the No Junk Challenge from Organix – add your comment and you could win a £250 JL voucher! NOW CLOSED

(123 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Apr-14 14:29:44

We have been asked by baby and toddler food brand Organix to showcase their new campaign - the "No Junk Challenge". They want to invite MNers to take part in the challenge which runs from 28th April to 4th May.

Organix say "We'd love as many parents as possible to take the pledge now in preparation for the No Junk Challenge and say 'yes' to real food and 'no' to junk. We are launching the No Junk Challenge to expose some of the junk in children's food and to ask parents to help us call on Government and the food industry to provide stricter controls to ensure better food for children. We also need to demand clear, easy to understand labelling that will help parents to make food choices for their families."

Here's how the challenge works - Organix want you to try to feed your family for a week using fresh ingredients, avoiding artificial additives and foods high in added salt, fat and sugar. Tell them how you get on, the high points, the challenges, and share your top tips and easy recipes.

If you already manage to avoid junk in your children's diets then you’re welcome to join the conversation with Organix on how to avoid the junk and choose healthy and nutritious food for your family.

If you'd like to be part of the challenge - take the pledge on this site and post on the thread to let us know you're in.

Organix welcomes any tips MNers want to share about improving your DC's diet and how to avoid junk food with your children - please share them on this thread. Please also think about any examples you can think of where there are junk ingredients in products – and any foods or ingredients you try to avoid giving your children.

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win £250 of John Lewis vouchers and a hamper of Organix food.

Sign up now to get ready for the No Junk Challenge next week.

Thanks and good luck

MadMonkeys Tue 22-Apr-14 15:13:03

The areas that really annoy me in terms of added sugar and salt are cereals and yoghurts. it seems impossible to get any of those without heaps of sugar/salt with the exception of porridge, which we eat a lot.

I make all our bread, in breadmaker, after DD2's allergies made commercial bread a nightmare. I was forced to check the ingredients in everything as we were trying to identify the allergens, and the ingredients of bread were an eye opener - so many additives.

I find most 'treat' foods - chocolate, sweets, commercial cakes and biuscuits - far too sweet. We have become used to a heap of sugar in our foods and it really isn't necessary.

I make most meals from scratch, especially since dd2's allergy phase, although I do cheat and use commercial pasta sauces sometimes (Dolmio Bolognese sauce has few ingredients, so that is my preferred choice) and curry sauces to save time.

I find that friends and family buy my kids too much chocolate - a bit now and again is fine but a whole easter egg, for example, is a huge amount of chocolate for a small child. Or maybe I'm just mean...!

mistlethrush Tue 22-Apr-14 15:18:08

We've always tried to give DS 'proper' food - homemade much of the time. His 'treat' Easter day was to ask for egg mayonnaise (homemade!) sandwiches for lunch!

Children's yoghurts can be shocking - DS got given natural yoghurt (out of 1kg tubs!) with some fruit or perhaps a tiny bit of honey when he smaller - he continues to have this now, quite happily.

It's not going to win me a voucher, but I would put Organix in the "junk but not quite as bad as some junk" pile. I have never bought pre-made toddler food. DD has always eaten exactly what the adults eat. I have a strong dislike to the idea that children need special food just because they're children.

UriGeller Tue 22-Apr-14 17:15:07

Oh the irony.

I think most people class pre-packaged processed food such as Organix as junk anyway. Its convenience readymeal stuff after all.

I say 'Yes' to real food, and that means 'No' to Organix.

ImAThrillseekerBunny Tue 22-Apr-14 17:25:34

I can recognise and spell both sugar and salt. I think most people can, and would count them as "real ingredients".

Mind you, I'm very good at spelling, and my DH is a biochemist so I think this is a pretty simple challenge. I think it would be tricker if you were dyslexic or flunked GCSE biology. Have they really thought it through?

Uzma01 Tue 22-Apr-14 17:25:37

As much as possible I do cook from scratch; at times will have some oven food (fish & potato products plus mixed veg.) I prefer to batch cook food & freeze into several portions - so I don't had to spend so long cooking all the time; thawing things out in the fridge overnight or in a container of warm water...

I find it helpful to have a stash of canned things (tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, butter beans tuna etc) as well as some frozen veg handy - easy to make into curries or add to homemade pasta sauces. Also I don't like cooking any type of meat on its own - it's always supplemented by lots of veggies.

I love baking cakes and biscuits - so I know exactly what's going into these treats.

Plus the kids love most fruits - so having a full fruit basket helps when they want snacks during the day.

Blu Tue 22-Apr-14 17:28:06

It isn't just the ingredients, but what actually happens to the food.

For example: OatsSoSimple - the 'Original' one is supposed to contain nothing but oats: SoFarSoGood! But what do they do to it to make it microwaveable? I saw a post on MN that said that it was so processed as to undermine the good in eating rolled oats. Is this true? Is OatsSoSimple junk, or good healthy porridge? I don't know, and I don't know how to find out.

It's a bit academic to me because I prefer real porridge and can see no difficulty in making it, but it is this sort of doubt that raises it's head unless you by everything in it's completely natural state.

jan2014 Tue 22-Apr-14 17:30:22

i find it so hard avoiding junk for dd. all the cereals have sugar loads of sugar in them, and because her tastebuds have acquired to want sugar, she wants sugary cereals over anything like porridge, which she says she 'doesn't like'. she is offered other alternatives.

i recently tried to switch her yoghurts to full fat natural yoghurt, and she wouln't have it . i tried to add different things even honey to make it more palatable and she still wouldn't have it, so i am back to sugar laden yoghurts. i can't afford yeo valley kids yoghurts which seems to be the only ones out there that look decent.

also, she has the organix fruit puree, i try to mix some in her yoghurt, but tbh its not working for us as even half a pot gives her loose bowels and a sore tummy... maybe just too much fruit.

JemimaJones Tue 22-Apr-14 17:44:31

I think one of the worst offenders is marketing Sugar free cordials and other products to children when they are full of even worse artificial sweeteners. Why do people believe that these are better.

UriGeller Tue 22-Apr-14 17:47:22

Blu Its funny isn't it? Ordinary oats are microwaveable. Add milk to a handful of oats and cook on medium for about 90 seconds.

"Oats SO simple" without the plastic, the factory, the diesel, the marketing etc etc

Tyranasaurus Tue 22-Apr-14 17:55:43

add me to the people who think organix is kind of junky

SacreBlue Tue 22-Apr-14 18:42:34

My DS is way beyond baby food at 15 but way back then it wouldn't have even occurred to me to buy ready made baby food, making from scratch was already ingrained in me from my own family.

That said I don't necessarily think it is a big deal to use pre prepared stuff, especially for convenience out and about, as long as you are aware what is in the product and it is balanced with fresh foods the rest of the time.

I do think, as said above, that it is important that foods purporting to not be 'junk' are actually not junk and not just jumping on the 'healthy eating' bandwagon hoping parents won't read the full ingredients list

Jinty64 Tue 22-Apr-14 19:24:11

When I was working full time I found it all to easy to take shortcuts and use ready meal, packets, jars, easy type food. Now I am at home I have much less money but more time to cook everything from scratch. I now bake all my own bread, make my own muesli and bake all our cakes and biscuits. It is not only healthier but cheaper too. I now find the taste of artificial sweeteners absolutely disgusting and yet I used to happily eat diet yogurts and drink diet juices.

Madrigals Tue 22-Apr-14 19:38:10

We already cook all meals from scratch from fresh ingredients for us and toddler DS to share.

I only use Organix type products as very occasional treats - eg the fruit wiggles and would never buy them as routine snacks or for meals.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Tue 22-Apr-14 19:38:44

I'm going to give this a go. We don't have much of the obvious junk, but there's loads of hidden junk in our food - cereal, yogurts etc.

AMillionNameChangesLater Tue 22-Apr-14 19:43:37

I give ds(2.6) natural yogurt with Heinz fruit puree in it. It sweetens it up for him, without just sugar. We have the puree anyway because ds2 will be being weaned in a few weeks and we got a load free. He seems to like it, but he also loves fish fingers. Which are processed, but i see them as a necessity when he won't eat anything else. I struggle to find the time to make my own version.

kazzawazzawoo Tue 22-Apr-14 20:04:49

I hate the fact that so many things are listed as'no added sugar', but have horrid sweeteners added.

My dd drinks juice, milk or water. However, most of her friends don't drink anything but squash or fizzy drinks, so we keep a bottle of squash in the cupboard for such occasions.

I try to always cook from scratch and don't buy ready meals.

idleweiss Tue 22-Apr-14 20:27:42

Same here kazzawazzawoo, who the hell thought putting aspartame and other horrific sweeteners in children's drinks or foods were a good idea!! Why not more natural sweeteners? Oh yes because it's cheaper to pump food and drink full of crap and slap a 'Sugarfree' label on it in the hopes that the consumer with doe eyed naivety will buy it and not ask questions!! Another thing I hate is how some companies try and hide/disguise additives and colourants in there ingredients lists. Parents should be made more aware of the different names companies use for these and what the effects these ingredients can have on children..and adults!!

Millie3030 Tue 22-Apr-14 20:29:39

We try and feed our little one who is 10 months as much natural fresh food as possible. We batch cook pasta, mashed potato, lentils etc and then batch cook chicken, red meat etc and can then mix and match. We try and give 3/4 pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables everyday and avoid 'baby yoghurts'.

I looked up how much sugar was in a small pot of a typical (well known brand) and the average is about a teaspoon, in one small pot! I couldn't believe it. With all the obesity in this country how can they justify this? I really don't understand? Babies 'learn' to like sugar and salt, so why do we think they need them? Why can't baby yogurts just have a natural bit of fruit to sweeten them, babies won't know the difference if that's all they have.

I always avoid aspartame, and unnatural sweeteners, I would rather a bit of natural sugar found in fruits. My little one adores fruit and would eat it all day long if he could. His treat is a piece of pineapple or strawberries.

I do find it difficult to find snacks that don't have salt in them, snacks that you can just have in your change bag, or car, for those times that are unexpected. Ricecakes and breadsticks get a bit boring, but I do have Organix carrot sticks and rice cakes as they have no salt. :-)

ImAThrillseekerBunny Tue 22-Apr-14 20:34:17

I like oat cakes as a snack - more nutritious than rice cakes or breadsticks IMO. Finding a brand that doesn't have added salt or palm oil requires some careful label reading though.

TheJumped Tue 22-Apr-14 20:48:43

I cook from scratch every meal - not necessarily hugely fancy meals but always with real ingredients iyswim. I have a veg box and a meat box delivered weekly, make my own breads and have a well stocked cupboard of spices, tinned tomatoes and pulses and dried carbs -pasta, cous cous and rice.

I do find it baffling and stressful when people don't do the same <snob>

But it's just cooking. A few knacks like pastry, thickening a sauce and browning meat, the rest is just preparing the food - the meat and the vegetables - to make them edible and hopefully taste nice, with some variation.

And DS has always, always eaten whatever we do, from 6mo. I don't plan around him at all, just cook and if he eats it he eats it and if he chucks it on the floor or doesn't touch it, fine too. I never cajole him into eating, and if he's hungry he can eat whatever he fancies. This has been fairly chocolate heavy this weekend, but then this eve he just ate loads of broccoli and none of the homemade chicken pie me and DH were demolishing! (Sauce was double cream, garlic, leeks, butter and bacon, some thyme, and pastry was butter and flour = real food) he hasn't eaten broccoli since he was tiny so I think his body was telling him to eat veg haha!

My main gripes are sugar and chemicals in quick snacky things both for adults and kids. I do eat crisps and so does DS (though less often than me, he's 2 so doesn't sit demolishing Pringles in front of Homeland) so I have found Organix carrot sticks and other snacks quite useful - I've just never been organised enough to carry the little Tupperware pots of lovingly sliced grapes and rice cakes around. Bananas are about as good a snack as I pack on the go. I do think there are more options for healthy snacks now like Organix than when I was little, which is good.

GetKnitted Tue 22-Apr-14 21:17:52

smuggly we already avoid junk, even give them salt and shake with the blue packets mysteriously smuggled away smile

I bought a slow cooker and try to use that as much as I can. It is difficult for us to be directly involved in what DD eats during the week as she has breakfast, lunch and dinner out of our home (DH and I both work full time)

DD does have junky treats as we have the philosophy of everything in moderation is okay. So we do go through Maccy-Ds on occasion. I do however like to take picnics out and about at the weekend and DD eats a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. However price, convenience and healthy is often tricky to find on the road, we travel quite a bit.

CheeseTMouse Tue 22-Apr-14 21:31:26

I am weaning my daughter at the moment and the thing I find hardest is having something ready for her to eat at the point she goes in her high chair or when we are out. I can see how people can revert to snacky food. As it is, I will either give her what we ate the night before or have been organised enough to batch cook fresh sauces to freeze. I have also invested in lots of packed lunch boxes so there is even more to carry about. I look forward to the point when I can just give her a whole apple!

Tonight's success was a kind of egg fried rice with veggies which was quick to do.

starlight36 Tue 22-Apr-14 21:42:57

I've made the pledge. DS gets freshly made food and eats everything we put in front of him! His older sister used to be the same but is a very fussy toddler and I've reverted to cooking food she will eat which is usually something processed. Hopefully this will motivate us to get her eating real food again.

CMOTDibbler Tue 22-Apr-14 21:52:39

Ds has always eaten the same food as us - we don't have childrens food and adults food.
I won't say that we are a no junk family, but what we don't have is insidious routine junk - no sugar laden cereal, manky yogurt or things pretending to be healthy but massively processed. We all like the odd bit of cake, but its an individual one from the local bakery because then you choose the one you really want rather than buying lots, that sort of thing

sharond101 Tue 22-Apr-14 21:56:11

My Son gets homecooked food for 95% of his meals. It bothers me when I read the back of food packets targetted at children and find the sugar content really high or the meat content in a chicken nugget for example to be extremely low (I saw one with 33% chicken!). I therefore choose to cook for us all as a family knowing what ingredients are used. where convenience is needed though it has opened my eyes to where ingredients like salt and sugar are hidden in foods that you would never imagine being in.

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Tue 22-Apr-14 22:11:22

I totally agree on the sweetener front. It is really hard to avoid them. It's not just kids stuff- there is artificial sweetener in fruity cider now too.

I don't get it, why don't they just make stuff less sweet. People would soon get used to it.

I loved the Organix range when my DDs were younger, but wish there were healthier snacks that were appealing to older kids too. Although they eat well, most of the stuff aimed at their age group is junk.

lottietiger Tue 22-Apr-14 22:15:49

I am lucky that my son really loves fruit so easy snacks are grapes, satsuma sand bananas. At home he also has pear, melon and pineapple but they are a bit messy out and about. If we go out I will make him a sandwich box up with a sandwich fruit, raisins and a bottle of water. At home he has fish pasta a roast or basically whatever we are having. I'm not saying I never resort to fish fingers but I try my hardest. The tHing I hate is when I get pressured by others to eat and drink stuff I don't want him to have, then I feel bad. Maybe a little chocolate or a Ribera won't hurt but if he doesn't have it he doesn't miss it.

tinypumpkin Tue 22-Apr-14 22:21:14

I like the organix range but I have to say, I find it very expensive.

TheDayOfMyDoctor Tue 22-Apr-14 22:51:11

Another who thinks organix are being a bit hypocritical. Their business depends on parents being attracted to convenience processed snacks and ready meals instead of freshly prepared food.

Their snacks might not be as bad as others, but I don't see how their fake crisps etc. are healthier than a piece of fruit or some oatcakes and cheese. Their fruit gummies have 65g of sugar per 100g, while a 100g of apple slices has 11g of sugar (according to a quick google search). They might not have a load of additives, but that doesn't sound that healthy.

Hopezibah Tue 22-Apr-14 23:14:31

I've taken the no junk pledge!

We've always loved Organix food because of their stance on no junk. We always try to avoid (or at least reduce) the amount of salt in the kids diets. For additives though, we like to try to trust the brand and that can be hard to do when some brands allow more additives than others in their food.

Thats why to be certain you need brands like Organix where you can trust all their products are of high standards and high principles when it comes to No Junk!

telsa Wed 23-Apr-14 00:03:11

OK. I try to keep additives away from children. Bad say to reflect on this though as we just have Easter behind us, which was utterly filled with endless sweets and chops. Oh dear, once a year and all that.
Sweeteners annoy the hell out of me, as do "fat free" sugar stuffed things. There is so much junk out there. It is not hard to avoids when cooking at home, but when out and about and a banana won't suffice, it can be tough.

ImAThrillseekerBunny Wed 23-Apr-14 00:11:05

Is everyone who's signing up to this baking their own bread, buying from an artisanal baker, or just going bread free? A quick check through my fairly ordinary kitchen cupboard shows that very little of it has anything that would be categorised as unrecognisable. I don't buy squash or biscuits, and the usual processed food suspects of fish fingers, baked beans, and pasta sauces have ingredients lists entirely composed of "real" food that anyone might have in my larder. The only thing the DCs regularly eat that contains factory rather than kitchen ingredients, is the Kingsmill.

AMillionNameChangesLater Wed 23-Apr-14 07:18:55

We buy Warburtons occasionally, but mainly I make my own

Kveta Wed 23-Apr-14 07:19:33

I cook all of our meals from scratch anyway, with the exception of a rare frozen pizza and even rarer fish and chips. The only aspect of our diet where the sugar feels hidden is the cereal which is the only breakfast 4 yo ds deigns to eat. But we tried some organic cereal last year and may as well have eaten the box it came in for all the flavour it was lacking, so I do see why cheerios and shredded wheat etc are so popular. Also, my handmade bread is a wee bit hit and miss, so we buy from the local bakers now - had to get some from tesco on Monday as my bread hadn't risen, and the bakers were shut, and it is vile stuff! Basically air and salt. I don't think I could go back to supermarket or branded loaves now!

Fishstix Wed 23-Apr-14 07:23:07

Mad monkeys, one of the Rachel's organic children's yogurts has no added sugar. It does have fruit juice instead but that's MUCh better than the huge volumes of added sugar in most yogurts. Whenever I see people feeding small babies Petit Filous it makes me want to snatch the pot away. So much sugar in there!

Fishstix Wed 23-Apr-14 07:25:40

And agree about organic making processed snacks. It forms a habit for kids who will then move on to other,less healthy alternatives as they grow. I Do however like that there is an alternative healthier snack, and let's face it who doesn't like to have something to stash in the car in case of delays or impromptu picnics. You can't keep carrot sticks in the boot for three weeks 'just in case.'

SteadyEddie Wed 23-Apr-14 07:37:21

I don't class Organix as junky, but mainly because I dont buy their ready meals, just the 'snack' range. My ds is 7 and has ASD but still loves their tomato crisps, rice cakes and the banana and date bars. At a time they were all he would eat, so I am eternally grateful to Organix.

I agree about yoghurts being a nightmare. I buy greek yoghurt and sweeten it with honey because I find most others way too sweet.

One thing I would like to add is that to do the 'no junk' challenge would mean not having school dinners (which we don't). I think its a real worry that many young children will be given a free meal every school day which includes some kind of stodgy cake every single day.

I would also like more emphasis on cutting out sweeteners in childrens diets. Much is made of being low sugar and salt, but no one seems to want to push the no sweetener cause. I don't know if its because manufacturers need it because they are cutting down on sugar.

trikken Wed 23-Apr-14 10:22:01

Some 'junk' is ok. Ds needs full fat stuff as he is underweight and so gets full fat yoghurts to keep him going. We need to know what the right amoint is per individual as everyone needs to eat differently. It would be useful if they made it clearer on packages as sometimes they make them overly complicated and confusing, therefore you dont know what is actually in a product and what you think is healthy is actually packed with sugats and additives.

AndHarry Wed 23-Apr-14 13:21:44

Another person who sees Organix et al as a bit 'junky', sorry.

I almost always cook from scratch but when I don't I'm always careful about reading labels and choosing low/no added salt versions. Sugar is a bit trickier.

FengMa Wed 23-Apr-14 13:38:18

We cook everything from scratch in big batches and then freeze it, eg a pork and apple stew with 8 different types of veg/legume served with brown rice/mash/quinoa. We'll have a couple of adult portions then a dozen toddler portions. We make sauces ourselves using either passata or a white cheese sauce as a base, pureeing some veg in (so she gets some veg even if she picks the chunks out and rejects them) and stirring in chunks of veg and meat/fish.

I make huge vats of fun fresh friut porridge, with mixed milled seeds and ground almonds and freeze them. In fact, I added milled seeds and ground nuts to virtually anything that lends itself to it. Otherwise, she'll have kiddy organic sugar free cereal or toast with 'jam' (no added sugar, fruit compote) or organic peanut butter.

We make our own yoghurts from natural yog, fruit purees, fresh fruit and seeds - whatever we have lying around. I make my own cakes and biccies using fruit puree instead of white/brown sugar. Still sugar but natural and has a less processed taste. She helps to make them. We freeze what isn't eaten. We also have organix etc bars and rice cakey type things on the hoof.

If she has choc, we would buy Green & Blacks. All of that said, when we're at parties etc, she has what's on offer (although I may sneakily peel coloured icing off/pocket the haribo) - don't want her to be the weird kid at parties.

We used to make our own sugar/salt free bread and freeze it in slices, but now DD is older, we have the 5 seed type from the supermarket.

We used to be 100% organic, including formula etc but now she's older (2), her grub is about 70%. Apart from the odd organic snack bar etc, everything is homemade.

HeartStarCircleSquare Wed 23-Apr-14 13:43:20

I signed up for the pledge after the gluttony of Easter eggs it seemed like a good idea!

My children are vegetarian which I find helps with healthy eating (no requests for fish fingers or nugget of any kind in this house) and also makes getting their fruit and veg easy (easily 10 portions a day). I buy plain yoghurt and add fruit or home made jam to it (not sugar free, I know but I've never tried to tell them NO sugar). Personally I worry more about additives and chemicals.

I wish the government would be willing to consider how much unhealthy eating costs the NHS and put some of that money toward subsiding healthy food. It's a struggle when we are struggling and see the cheap and cheerful stuff being sold next to the expensive healthy food.

HeartStarCircleSquare Wed 23-Apr-14 13:47:54

That sounds lovely feng, but must cost you a fortune!

FengMa Wed 23-Apr-14 14:17:35

We thought it would HeartStar, but when you make in bulk there is so much less waste. That stew I mentioned comes in at prob about �12-15 but it's 15 main meals, including some for us. It's different every time too as we stick in what's left from other meals: half a bag of uneaten spinach, left over parsnips, last three carrots in the bag etc. We pillage our garden and family's for fruit and veg and the kilo bags of oats, lentils and chickpeas are my best friends! Big pots of org natural yog work out cheaper than individual pots unless the latter are on a deal. We try to buy the meat and veg in supermarket deals and put it in the freezer where poss.

Once in the habit, not too time consuming either as you make something when you have time and are all having the same and when tight on time, get summat out the freezer!

Flossiecrossie Wed 23-Apr-14 15:46:05

I try really hard at home to avoid junk food and encourage healthy eating, but I fond it so difficult when we go out as a family to provide healthy food for children. The children's menus on offer are such a disappointment and I'm reaching the stage where I don't want to take my little one out for meals as she just ends up easting junk. Do chips have to be such a staple part of a child's menu?

HeartStarCircleSquare Wed 23-Apr-14 16:06:23

fengma I'm trying to get in to the habit of more bulk cooking... need a bigger freezer!

Blu Wed 23-Apr-14 16:28:36

It's interesting, isn't it, what we label as junk.

Fish Fingers. Actually Birds Fish Fingers are just fish, bread crumbs and a natural clouring, and some spices. Why are they unhealthy, junky or bad? I never had any qualms about feeding fih fingers to toddler DS. Cheap processed Nuggets, yes, because of the unidentifiable neature of the chicken, but I would have no problem with chicken breast covered in breadcrumbs bound with egg and baked.

In all truth, significant amounts of pre-prepared organic 100% fruit puree with just over 10% sugar would concern me more. I relied on grated apple, roughly chopped soft fruit etc.

bouncinbean Wed 23-Apr-14 16:49:39

For me signing up this type of pledge is easy as it's the way we eat anyway. Food is generally cooked from scratch with plenty of fruit and veg alongside meat and pulse based stews made in the slow cooker in winter or salad/bbq foods in summer.
I look in the supermarket aisles for easy food for travelling/days out but generally find it disappointing as it's full of cheap carbs and other artificial ingredients, eg chicken stew that is more potato than chicken or other veg, so rarely buy it.
Hate the way the food industry is so invested in trying to tell us what to eat and that their product us healthy. Give me real butter in moderation rather than some nasty low fat spread, yoghurt with a decent amount of real fruit rather than some sugar laden version targeted at children.
We also tend to have good quality meals and not too much in way of snacks. Agree with the other poster that regarding 'healthy crisps' is just setting a habit for wanting crisps - would rather my daughter reached for a drink or a piece of fruit if she wants something before or after a main meal.
I just worry that once she is older and at school that we are going to be the odd ones out because our eating habits are old fashioned and not the modern way of convenience food (albeit branded as being organic, healthy, etc.)

CheeseStrawWars Wed 23-Apr-14 18:12:15

One of my bugbears is these "real fruit" strings, sticks, strips and whatnot, where a massive amount of fruit has been pureed and condensed down into basically mostly fructose, i.e. sugar, and then marketed as being a "healthy" snack. It really isn't! Okay as a treat, but not remotely equivalent to say, an actual apple.

PhoneSexWithMalcolmTucker Wed 23-Apr-14 18:57:18

Another one who wishes sweetener was higher up the healthy eating agenda. It's vile.

We're certainly not a junk-free household but I think the children eat quite well because DH and I eat quite well. Lots if home cooking, loads of veg; neither of us really like fizzy pop or squash, so it isn't in the house.

DD (nearly 3) would eat junk all day if we let her (we don't grin) but she is also much more adventurous than her older brother and will generally eat anything.

DA (5) has been somewhat fussy since about 2.5, but interestingly he isn't fussy for processed foods. He is a massive burger snob grin and still loves dhal, kedgeree and tomato spaghetti...just as long as I don't make it different.

Hopefully those early toddler years of eating my home cooked meals has set him up well. Having said that, they are both crackily addicted to bloody Organix flapjack bars, god knows what is in them.

purplemeggie Wed 23-Apr-14 19:50:45

I was recommended to take ds off sugar and all starchy carbs for a period last year and we felt we really ought to join him - he's an only child and it would have felt really mean depriving him of treats that we were having ourselves. It meant cooking absolutely everything from scratch, sweetening only with honey and baking with nuts or bean flours. It was really tough (packed lunches were particularly difficult as the school has a nut-free policy), but it really opened my eyes to how much rubbish is in off-the-shelf food. I'm much more careful about what we eat now, and cook far more from scratch. One thing I really noticed was that if you strip all the sugar out of your food for a while, you really notice it when it turns up in something unexpected - like tomato sauce - and not in a good way!

mummy81 Wed 23-Apr-14 20:08:55

I'm also weaning my son right now and he's a very fussy eater. With my first child I made sure she didn't have added sugar or salt but with my son I don't mind extra sugar as I'm trying to fatten him up. I do cook from scratch in bulk and freezer for later days.

Itsfab Wed 23-Apr-14 20:43:55

How patronising. I suspect most people cook from scratch most of the time and don't give their children packaged crap. I fell into the trap of giving my kids Organix bread sticks and rice cakes as I assumed organic = fine. If actually they are a bit junky then more fool me.

Children who ate porridge etc and things without sugar would still eat them if they hadn't tried the sugary crap perhaps. I am a mean mummy. Mine get chocolate cereal maybe twice a year. There used to be 5 choices of cereal but now I buy porridge and Weetabix only. Sometimes too much choice didn't help. I cook everything from scratch except fish fingers though have been known to make my own and my kids have a lot of fruit and veg. I know they also have rubbish at times but I enjoy chocolate now and then so can't say I don't understand the desire for a sweet treat.

Vijac Wed 23-Apr-14 21:33:02

I find cereal annoying too. Especially as I find it really hard to judge what is a 'healthy' cereal. Obviously ricicles have loads of sugar but things like cornflakes, fruit and fibre and muesli are much more ambiguous for me.

JimBobplusasprog Wed 23-Apr-14 21:50:43

I always categorised organix as junk when my kids were young enough to eat it. I prefer brands to be honest: organix makes a big deal of not adding sugar then uses concentrated grape or apple juice instead. Anything that has a shelf-life of months and needs packaging in foiled plastic is not going to come direct from mother nature.

Andcake Wed 23-Apr-14 21:56:46

Hmm we mostly cook from scratch ( like we do ourselves) for ds 20 months. Not sure why organix are better worse than some of the other processed baby snacks eg Ella's, hipp, plum etc as I thought their was lots of regulation in this area. They all say organix etc and the rare occasions I buy I check ingredients lists. But we just have normal porridge oats etc, don't go for these organix style training crisps! Why do babies need to even know the concept of crisps.

Beveridge Wed 23-Apr-14 21:58:29

"we already avoid junk, even give them salt and shake with the blue packets mysteriously smuggled away""

Ha! Me too!

Wjjkl Wed 23-Apr-14 22:16:08

Home cooked food all the way and a "practice what you preach" attitude. If you are eating healthy, wholesome food, the children are more likely to follow suit. If they see you eating junk, they will only want to follow suit.

JimBobplusasprog Wed 23-Apr-14 22:19:06

Actually I have just googled the ingredients for organix alphabet biscuits. I remember being riled by the marketing when ds was little as I thought it was misleading. Ingredients as follows:

Wholegrain wheat flour 30%
Wheat flour 30%
Grape juice concentrate 27%
Unhydrogenated palm oil 4%
Sunflower oil 4%
Wholegrain oat flakes 3%
Sunflower seeds 2%
Raising agent sodium bicarbonate <1%
Thiamin (vitamin B1) <1%
Junk 0%

So what's wrong with this? Firstly, concentrated grape juice sounds healthy - it comes from fruit so it's all good, right? But grape juice is basically water with minute quantities of fat and protein and a few trace minerals and shedloads of sugar. It appears healthier than having sugar or glucose-fructose syrup on the label but there is very little difference in the way the body digests and processes this stuff.

Secondly the "unhydrogenated" palm oil gives the reader the impression that the word unhydrogenated is relevant here. We all know hydrogenated fats are bad so this must be good by virtue of the lack of hydrogenation... Except palm oil is otherwise known as tree lard due to its stability and consistency. It's massively saturated and is used by manufacturers to create products with long shelf lives. Because it is so saturated there is no need to hydrogenate it. It is an unpleasant substance that you wouldn't put in your home cooking. Also note that they haven't called the sunflower oil unhydrogenated as we all know what that is and adding the extra word sounds a bit chemically and off-putting.

So I am quite happy to take the organix no junk pledge and not feed my family anything containing palm oil or concentrated grape juice. I wouldn't use them in my cooking at home. (I can spell them though so this aspect of the challenge won't be too much of a problem for me).

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 24-Apr-14 02:59:35

Ah, andcake - some babies DO need crisps. Particularly the bite-dissolve kind like quavers. True story. I thought dd2's feeding-specialist SLT had lost her mind when she suggested we try to wean her on quavers.

But it worked!

Dd2 was born without a suck, swallow, or gag reflex, and had to be trained to do everything (she was initially fed by ng tube, and suctioned when saliva pooled in her throat and cut off her air supply).

I am a big fan of quavers.

that said, we haven't had quavers in years. she can eat real food now, that I can spell and everything hmm

Sorry, organix. Not such a fan of yours - we bought stuff on and off, but a company disingenuous enough to try marketing their own processed and packaged stuff as 'real food' are missing the point. (At least for anyone with a couple of brain cells to rub together).

It is very odd that anything in a packet is appealing, really. Organix is no better and no worse than any other middle class packet snack stuff marketed for yummy mummies for when they can't be bothered to halve their own grapes in a Tupperware pot.

And I speak as someone raised on findus crispy pancakes.

MakkaPakkasSponge Thu 24-Apr-14 06:05:03

The main thing that annoys me is the amount of salt in everything.
When I was weaning DS, I tried to keep the salt content down but its in everything, and scarily added to some baby foods. I'd quite like to see breadsticks with a lower salt content.
I'm pretty good at reading the labels so I choose things that have less junk anyway.

GiraffesAndButterflies Thu 24-Apr-14 08:19:39

organix makes a big deal of not adding sugar then uses concentrated grape or apple juice instead

This. And everything in JimBob's second post. I give DD Organix stuff occasionally, but I wouldn't kid myself that it's as good as home cooking.

I suspect this thread is going to backfire on Organix somewhat as they won't want us all to have a conversation about how their food is artificially sweetened and basically pretty junky. hmm

ChasedByBees Thu 24-Apr-14 08:38:11

I had managed to do quite well with DD's diet, but nursery give them those dreadful toddler yogurts which are absolutely full of sugar as a dessert. Now she won't touch other yogurts. sad

I am trying to wean her on to organix and from there, back to natural Greek / live yogurt. Sorry Organix but I'm not keen on the addition of grape juice either!

Andcake Thu 24-Apr-14 09:26:50

Sorry madwomanbackintheattic about the crisp comment - but what a trial - glad dd eats well now!
The other thing that gets on my goat about organix's is their very expensive very sweet rice cakes. A waste of money - we give ds bits of normal sized rice cakes occasionally - last a lot longer and you can put a mix of healthier toppings on them.

nethunsreject Thu 24-Apr-14 10:20:20

Agree with those saying organix is junk too. Worse, it's junk masquerading as wholesome food.

SixImpossible Thu 24-Apr-14 10:26:22

We like their sweet rice cakes - for a treat for older children and even for adults.

There's no need to give babies/toddlers etc facsimiles of adult snack food. The fact they contain less sugar/salt etc does not make them 'healthy'. They perpetuate the myth that eating sweet or savoury snacks from a colourful cellophane packet is a normal thing to do. Eventually they switch from their low-sugar/salt snack 2-3 times a day to the high-sugar/salt adult version 2-3 times a day. A chocolate bar, flapjack and packet of crisps every day may be 'normal' because many people do it, but it is not 'normal' because it is an unhealthy habit. So why teach it to your children?

GreenBeeAlwaysBusy Thu 24-Apr-14 12:15:34

I cook most things from scratch but I do put Organix bars in lunchboxes to make my kids feel more they have something that is in a packet like the other kids. I send them with lentils and things like that most days, and they say the other kids say it looks disgusting. I want them to eat good food but not feel like the odd one out, so Organix answers that for me in a way that other brands - with added additives, sugar and salt don't.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Apr-14 12:43:47

Thanks for all the comments on the thread so far - keep 'em coming!

Organix are following your posts and have asked me to pass on the following message to you all.

"Thanks so much for all the comments so far, the debate is healthy and we’re listening. Our mission at Organix is to develop foods that don’t contain artificial ingredients like colourings, flavourings or preservatives , or added refined sugar or salt.

We provide food for parents with totally transparent and easy to understand labelling, so that parents can feel confident that we do everything we can to ensure that it is the best it can be.

We also support parents to cook from scratch by providing recipes, ideas, access to experts, and sharing this online through our website and social media.

Thanks to all those who have signed up and we look forward to taking our findings to challenge the food industry to move towards clearer labelling and tougher regulation of the food industry, so that we can work together to create better and more transparent food choices for parents.

Following the campaign, we are opening our doors to Mumsnetters who are interested in knowing more about Organix, what we do, and the way in which we develop our foods. Please join us if you want to be part of the campaign".

NK66fb90c4X12110c203ee Thu 24-Apr-14 13:27:42

I am completely overwhelmed by trying to read the labels. To be honest I don't know or understand what half of the things are.

But I do try avoid all these artificial additives and extra sugar and salt. I dont really understand why the food industry is allowed to get away with putting so much 'stuff' in products - I looked at some yoghurt frubes recently and they had more than 20 ingredients in there. Surely that is not necessary. I would say that it is about time that the food industry or government took some sort of responsibility to change things. So I'm in.

GreenBeeAlwaysBusy Thu 24-Apr-14 13:30:39

I've just read back over some of the other comments, and I think the real villians have been let off the hook. The real problem isn't good quality baby foods or how much home cooking you do. The real villians are the chocolate bars, crisps, yoghurts and cheese dippy things aimed at kids - with more sugar, fats, additives and salt than adult versions! I hate seeing them in other kids lunchboxes, and I hate it when other parents give them to my kids...or turn up at my house with them as a 'treat'. A lovely friend gave my kids crisps the other day, and I turned over the packet to look at the ingredients and they had sugar in them. They were cheese and onion crisps! Why do they need sugar?! But I didn't say anything because she was being kind. So given that sometimes I don't feel like I can speak my mind about the junk on the shelves in the supermarket, I am signing this pledge because I think kids food should and can be healthier. It just can't be that difficult to cut out the rubbish...can it?

janekirk Thu 24-Apr-14 17:30:21

We take a sensible but moderate approach to feeding our kids. A lot of the organic companies want us to feel guilty in order to boost their own sales!

youwish Thu 24-Apr-14 17:57:54

We eat healthy homemade amazing the amount of additives hided in kids is difficult to find healthy foods when on the go.other then fruit ,but fruit and young kids can be very messy!it is annoying have to check every single label!

QuidditchTonedThighs Thu 24-Apr-14 17:58:13

Another who thinks Organix are junk that's slightly less crap. It's certainly not real, unprocessed food, is it?

Sorry, another one saying Organix are mainly junk, but better than many of the alternatives.

Lots of the stuff isn't needed in a diet:
dried fruit: OK in small quantities, but why is it special for little people? Whats wrong with all the natural dried fruit in the cooking isle?

And all those fruit purees dried into strips. Why is that different to sweets? Just sugar.

I'm very much of the line of thought that babies / kids should be eating adult meals. Yes, there are days I eat fish fingers with the kids, but there are also days when they eat what I want to eat with me. If I'm not prepared to eat it (with the exception of mushrooms!), why should the kids??

But yes, yes yes to if you don't think you'd find the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard, you shouldn't be eating it.

And also (don't think Organix are a culprit in this) low fat = bucket loads of sugar and sweeteners. Kids don't need low fat. They need full fat, and cheese and grapes is a fab snack for them.

serendipity1980 Thu 24-Apr-14 20:16:41

I make all our food, I've never bought shop bought baby/toddler/child food for my children. I think it's too expensive, compared to making your own, and it's not natural and full of sugars/salt/fat etc. I much prefer to know what I've put in food myself. My children still like things like sweets, crisps, I just am careful what I choose to give them.

deels Thu 24-Apr-14 22:51:09

really annoys me when there are so many e numbers in food aimed at children. also, the amount of junk being sold at the till in shops , arghhh

daisybrown Thu 24-Apr-14 23:08:54

We try to lead by example, but the occasional burger and fries as a treat is allowed. Plenty of fresh fruit to choose from. We do our best by keeping an eye on additives, sugar, salt etc, but we find organic produce to be rather too expensive on our incomes. Can't say we trust organic producers 100% anyway.

Quodlibet Thu 24-Apr-14 23:13:37

We haven't started weaning yet but this thread has certainly been an eye-opener in terms of the amount of junk in baby/kids food. We cook from scratch most of the time, but I need to start thinking how we conveniently expand this to include food suitable for DD too.

dandm12 Fri 25-Apr-14 00:40:58

I've just started weaning my 6 month old and have found it baffling. I try and make as much as I can at home from scratch but sometimes it's more convenient to use ready made 'meals'. The array available is astronomical - and requires you to spend hours in the baby aisle checking each and every pot/ brand to attempt to figure out what's included (and it's certainly not always clear). Seeing as the advice is no salt/sugar I do think retailers should be more responsible in producing food that sticks with this, if they're making food specifically for this age group. And simplifying the labels across the board would make it far easier for parents to make an informed decision of what to feed their little one.

kmills Fri 25-Apr-14 08:02:44

Set a good example. Children learn by watching what you do. If you don't want your child to eat junk food, eat healthy foods yourself.
Get your child to pick out a new healthy food to try each week at the supermarket.

Umlauf Fri 25-Apr-14 13:30:18

We have just stated weaning and I'm ashamed to say I'm really having to reeducate myself about what constitutes ",junk" and what doesn't, and I thought we had a fairly healthy diet. It is much more convenient to use ready made pouches etc for out and about but I am always scrutinising the labels, not really knowing what I'm looking for or why one pouch is from 12 months when it looks exactly the same as another one from 4 months.. I'll give this a go!

WowOoo Fri 25-Apr-14 13:53:53

After a few busy months at work I realise Dh and I haven't been feeding my children as well as I could.
I've decided to try to give them healthier stuff and I've signed up for the challenge.
Basically means I'll be cooking from scratch a lot more and doing bigger batches so I can freeze meals.

lionheart Fri 25-Apr-14 14:05:45

You shouldn't really need a degree in chemistry to work out what is in the food you eat so better labelling/information would be one way forward. On the other hand, it took forever to get food manufacturers to agree to the red amber green system so I wouldn't hold my breath.

thesoupdragon44 Fri 25-Apr-14 15:50:45

Ever since my son was small we have offered him fruit as a healthy snack. sometimes he would go off a particular one but if we offered it as a fruit salad it became ok again. Fruit salad was sometime only one fruit but by removing the choice he will always ask for more!

wokeupwithasmile Fri 25-Apr-14 16:37:23

I think if parents eat well they will hardly give junk food to their children. I am happy to have a coke or a chocolate bar whenever I feel like, but that is because I cook everything else I have from scratch. My 1 year old DS is starting to be picky with his food, mostly organic and all home made, but I think it is because that he something that he can control, and he is establishing his own boundaries. I suppose the solution is just to persevere.

flamingtoaster Fri 25-Apr-14 17:53:12

The secret is to make as much as you can from scratch - and involve the children in the making of it as soon as they are old enough. Also when the DC were tiny I used to put vegetables on their plates, mutter to myself "That's far too much for DD" and take some off. DS and DD used to beg for more vegetables because they thought they weren't allowed more. My DC are now past the toddler stage but I still read labels of anything I don't make from scratch because my DS has food allergies - another reason to bake all the cakes etc. Home made tastes much better than shop bought with a long shelf life.

Oblomov Sat 26-Apr-14 13:05:00

agree with others. masquerading as healthy when in fact products are full of crap, is going to come back to haunt organix.

lozzybeast Sat 26-Apr-14 22:21:24

I try to limit any convenience food (I.e. stuff out the freezer) to once a month. I really do not like my kids to eat processed meat especially. Plus when weaning children it is important they experience all textures. It is quite simple really, introduce them to a wide variety from a young age, but don't beat yourself up if they occasionally have the odd convenience food, as long as it's not the norm!

HandbagsandSnotrags Sat 26-Apr-14 22:32:34

Sugar is the one thing that my dc have too much of. They would always rather have a biscuit than a breadstick and prefer fruit to veg so even when they are having something healthy, is still v high in sugar.

They do like natural yoghurt but only with fruit or jam or honey. Think I may need to wean them off it but lack the energy to deal with the whining. Path of least resistance is always attractive when you are tired, stressed etc. But I do need to sort it out.

Bubbles85 Sun 27-Apr-14 09:56:46

My LO is about to be weaned and I am currently storing up frozen batches of puréed food to avoid all the additives in jarred baby food.

Itsfab Sun 27-Apr-14 15:15:52

So they are reading and listening but then ignore what has said and just say how brilliant they think they are hmm.

DoItTooJulia Sun 27-Apr-14 16:35:09

It's a complete chore, sometimes, doing the supermarket shopping. We are all veggie, household of 5. One doesn't eat cheese and one is dairy free.

I spend hours reading the labels!

I do a lot of cooking from scratch, I never buy ready meals, but I do buy potato waffles, baked beans, veggie sausages, Heinz tomato soup and Organix snacks. The snacks are for if we are out and about, it's great to have some carrot-y crisps in a bag just in case.

Like all things in life, it's about balance. The odd McDonald's won't do any harm as long as it is part of a balanced diet. Same as whole wheat bread for toddlers is fine as part of a balanced diet. The odd bag of Organix crips won't do any harm......

Reiltin Sun 27-Apr-14 19:37:38

We're doing baby-led weaning so mostly stay away from "baby foods". And I mostly cook from scratch. But since I stopped feeding baby during the night, I give her a pouch of Ella's Kitchen baby brekkie with dinner to make sure she's full through to morning. I fool myself that's it's basically an enhanced smoothie cos it's yoghurt and fruit but with some ground rice for substance smile

Cataline Sun 27-Apr-14 22:25:24

We base our meals around fresh, frozen or canned vegetables with wholegrains such as rice , pasta, quinoa plus legumes, herbs and spices. Each Sunday I prepare large quantities of fruit and veg and portion them up into individual pots so that all our packed lunches contain a hefty amount of fruit and veg each day. These pots go in the fridge and are added to lunch boxes each day. This week the veg pots have peppers, cucumber and cherry tomatoes and the fruit ones are blueberry, strawberry and grapes.
We avoid cereals other than regular porridge oats and try to avoid other processed foods. I avoid all animal products which helps as I have to think really carefully about what I eat - milk is in SO much!!
We're certainly not perfect at this and do slip up occasionally but can definitely say that we feel healthier eating this way than when we eat a lot of processed food!

miramar Sun 27-Apr-14 23:07:07

I agree that food marketed to children is problematic. I would prefer to see characters like Peppa Pig etc promote healthy options, e.g. natural yoghurt rather than cheaply made yoghurt that's high in sugar. Ditto processed cheese, cereals etc. I avoided "baby food" and gave my son appropriate healthy food from the start. He likes strong flavours and eats whatever he's given. Impossible to determine cause and effect, but at 3yo he had no interest in juice or chocolate even when he sees them at parties etc.

I was disappointed when Organix revamped their flapjack bars discontinuing the savoury/vegetable flavours like tomato and replacing them with sweeter flavours. It'd be good to have a convenient option of less sweet / more savoury snacks for emergencies when out and about. I am not keen on the idea of the kiddy crisps e.g. "carrot sticks" as I think it's training toddlers to think that's a normal diet , plus I'd rather fill my toddler up with nutritious food that'll fill them up for longer. I found their pots of curry sauce base useful, it was an easy way for me to add spicy foods to my batch-cooking repertoire. I find batch cooking, a freezer and a microwave are great for healthy toddler food. Cooking 5-10 portions at a time is no more effort than cooking one meal's worth of food, and means less waste when individual portions require tiny amounts each e.g. a quarter of a carrot / celery stick / onion / leek etc.

I am a terrible cook and so we did use organic baby food when Dd was little.

I would really appreciate/ like in a brand if the ingredients and salt/sugar content are made blatantly obvious.

I would also like it if it inadvertently gave me more confidence in the kitchen. Ie: provide a herb mix for a sauce along with the ingredients list/recipe so that I can try it off the bat.

I can't cook- so I don't buy cook books. I find them daunting and impenetrable. But I would read the back of a packet or sticker...and if pay for the privilege!

rumourhasit Mon 28-Apr-14 10:40:54

I don't live in the UK but do get visited by a lot of friends and family. When they are staying with me and when I visit the UK I do notice that most people with young kids feed them absolute crap. It's not just one family but all of them. These are educated people and I don't understand why they don't know anything about nutrition. My children eat so well that I am actually embarrassed when I have visitors because they look like right goodie two shoes.

Just last week I had someone staying with me. Their kids are the same age as mine (4 and 6) and it was a nightmare because they constantly asked me for coke, juice and "pop". One of them refused to eat anything that has grown on it's own and spent the whole time eating fish fingers. Funny thing was that they seemed to think I was the one at fault! My kids ended up eating a pile of rubbish because I couldn't cook 2 meals for everyone.

I wouldn't mind but it is not rocket science and I am not feeding my kids organic quinoa and tofu. I am sitting here whilst I wait for their dinner to finish cooking. It's chicken breast chucked in the oven, carrots, broccoli and roast potatoes. It took me 10 minutes to prepare it all.

Roseformeplease Mon 28-Apr-14 19:10:44

We eat no junk, make our own bread and cook from scratch.

We do not eat Organix.

MrsLoada Mon 28-Apr-14 20:20:36

At home it's easy not to have junk. As we cook most meals from scratch but we do like a bit of junk every now and then. A takeaway once a month that sort of thing. But my big issue is with school dinners both my kids are at secondary school. When I ask what they have had for lunch it tends to be burger,fish fingers, pizza chips chocolate chip muffin bottle of flavoured water/ fruit shoot type drink. I would mind if this was once a week but it's every day. Some days they will take a packed lunch which includes a sandwich crisps piece of fruit and a bottle of plain water.I think at least they are getting salad in the sandwich and some fruit. In the teenage years they are bombarded with adverts aimed at them for stuff like colas. Footballers drinking Pepsi that sort of thing why haven't we got the England team or who ever enjoying a banana?

KateOxford Tue 29-Apr-14 06:01:16

Recently I've been making a really big effort to bake healthy things with my son when we cook together, rather than just the normal chocolate cakes. We've made cakes with a little bit of dark chocolate, beetroot and ground almonds which were delicious and muffins with yoghurt, honey and fresh fruit. It's been an opportunity to introduce him to new things and get some extra fruit. My son, aged nearly 4 doesn't have squats or sweets and we limit treats like chocolate.

prakattack Tue 29-Apr-14 12:01:58

The main thing I have always tried to remember with my little ones is that as well as feeding them the healthiest diet I can, I am also trying to instil good eating habits that they can continue as they grow up. So I feed them a healthy diet but a realistic one. Snacks is a perfect example. I've never used Organix carrot sticks and sweetcorn rings because I don't want to teach them that crisps are a normal part of everyday eating - what would they replace it with as they grow? Real crisps every day??
Instead, they eat real fruit, rice cakes, crackers, seeds, and occasionally dried fruit.
I really struggled, in the baby/ toddler food aisle of supermarkets, to find healthy snacks that weren't "crisps" or based on very sweet dried fruit or juice. Rice cakes seem the only option and it would be great if Organix were able to expand the range of savoury snacks they produce. As someone said upthread, even the more savoury flavours of flapjacks/ cereal bars etc seem to have been discontinued.

stephgr Wed 30-Apr-14 00:57:34

I try really hard to make meals from scratch so that I know exactly what my children are eating. The hardest thing is when they go to friends' houses where they're eating junk but I wouldn't feel at all comfortable asking other mums to watch what my children are eating when they go round for tea. Snacks when we're out and about can be difficult so I try to be organised with healthy fruit and veg snacks in my bag for the children.

CrewElla Wed 30-Apr-14 12:42:10

I don't like the pledge or the implied pressure. Are we supposed to feel guilty that we don't prepare everything fresh ourselves?

It does seem odd that this campaign is from a company selling packaged food.

orangepudding Wed 30-Apr-14 18:49:51

I saw some organix baby food in sainsburys. I thought that some of the food was junk food for babies.

mrshuggybear Thu 01-May-14 09:23:44

The biggest problem I have is with sugar, I read how much sugar is in things and find it really hard to make healthy choices. I bake with a stevia blend and can't understand why foods can't be made with stevia or all naturally sweetened with grape juice. I have a 2 and 4 year old and I can already spot a tendency towards sugar addiction in them but as a busy mum can't avoid sugar in everything. I wish I was a better cook too as I find it hard to make sauces from scratch and find the time to make complicated meals, we eat fresh food all the time but some help with quick and easy meals would be good.

HappyMum4 Thu 01-May-14 11:05:35

I've taken the pledge, the amount of sugar and salt and saturated fat in child-orientated products is alarming, and I try to make as much as possible, I do notice a difference in the children's behaviour, they do seem calmer and get fuller quicker with homemade stuff.

hm32 Thu 01-May-14 12:46:24

I don't understand why you'd buy specifically child orientated products anyway - why not just give them some of your food? The closest we come to that is the mini packs of raisins for portable snacks. We were being totally healthy with those (Lidl ones with nothing added), but DS prefers the ones with veg oil as they are softer, so I give in sometimes.

My DS eats what I eat, and given that I can't have artificial additives, that means food made with real ingredients. I don't think you should 'never' have chips, or baked beans, or other 'not quite so healthy' foods, or you make them into something desirable by their rarity. But I think occasionally is quite enough!

I wouldn't buy Organix food, as it is too expensive. Sorry!

We try to avoid junk as much as possible but I still worry about the hidden levels of salt in everyday foods such as bread and baked beans. I avoid boxed cereals for their sugar levels but sometimes do wonder if all the toast, cheese and butter my two eat means they get too much salt

MoralFibres Thu 01-May-14 13:51:20

I'm in! I try to make my own food from scratch where possible, but as a working mum it's sometimes difficult, but it's confusing to know exactly what the healthy options are in the shops, even with food labelling. Some foods market themselves as healthy or low fat even though they're full of sugar. I noticed some milky way chocolate milk in the shop the other day that said "school friendly" yet the second highest ingredient was sugar.

It's also difficult when you take your kid round the supermarket (my daughter is two), and they see Peppa Pig branded yoghurts, completely full of sugar, and trying to explain to your kid that they can't have any. I agree with the Mnetter above who says characters like that should be on natural yoghurt rather than the sugar packed varieties.

Maiyakat Thu 01-May-14 21:09:39

It can be difficult to avoid added sugar and salt in snacks. I try to include as much fresh fruit as possible and cook from scratch..

lolancurly Fri 02-May-14 08:07:17

I realised recently that we hardly ever have any convenience foods (apart from oven chips and icecream) in the freezer, which is good. We try to do the 'vegetable by stealth' approach, by sneaking in large amounts of veg into pasta dishes. This works classically well in things like spag bol, if you dice celery, peppers, mushrooms, onions, butternut squash etc up really small, it makes a lovely sauce. I am never sure how much of the vetable goodness is lost in the process of making a good slow cooked ragout, although it is very tasty. Fruit is easy in my house - kids all love it. The worse thing is trying to stop my youngest from drinking fruit juice as it is often full of sugar and of course, very bad for your teeth. She is a b*gger when it comes to trying to get her to drink anything else and definitely won't drink water.

ErnestShufflebottom Fri 02-May-14 10:07:25

All done and tweeted. I sneak veg into spag bol and chilli by blending it. When ds was younger I would make faces out of fruit to encourage him to eat it. I would give him peas and sweetcorn out of a sweet packet so he thought he was having sweeties.

BarbaraPalmer Fri 02-May-14 19:39:36

well, this isn't going to win me the JL voucher, but I really dislike brands such as organix, who make claims about their foods that are designed to make people believe they are healthy eg adding fruit juice to stuff instead of "processed sugar", when fruit juice is basically liquid sugar anyway.

don't get me wrong, my DC do eat salt and sugar. But I'd rather cook them a balanced meal from scratch, and then give them a cake for pudding, than faff around with "healthy" yoghurts and cereal bars.

I didn't feed my DC any branded baby foods. We got lucky in that both DC were happy to eat home-cooked adult foods from weaning.

ClubName Sat 03-May-14 19:05:32

Isn't most of what Organix produces junk? Highly processed, lots of sugar and very little actual nutrition?

Avoiding junk is easy. You don't buy anything marketed specially for children and avoid anything overly packaged

kelandab Sun 04-May-14 09:08:15

I'm very lucky with DD2 in that her favourite things to snack on are cucumber, grapes & peppers, so it makes keeping junk out an easy task. DD1 however is a harder task, but I find just by not keeping a cupboard full of unhealthy snacks & having school dinners which are junk free, she can be pleased with a treat of a bag of sweets at the weekend.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 04-May-14 09:31:53

I class it as junk tbh too.

Perhaps not as bad as some but still junk and misleading.

Anything that lasts months on a shelf in plastic or foil just isn't fresh is it? And no matter what version you use it's still "preserved" with fat or sugar.

And agree that kids versions of everything isn't necessary. The adult stuff is fine in the small occasional quantities it should be given. It's just money making gimmicks.

JodieGarberJacob Sun 04-May-14 09:46:59

Dd1 is 22 now and when she went onto solid food I remember firing off letter after letter to Kellogs, Nabisco etc raging over the products aimed at children that contained so much sugar. It's nothing new but bloody disgusting that we still have to have these fights over ingredients. The only thing that's changed is that these products are no longer advertised on TV thank goodness. Good luck.

ClubName Sun 04-May-14 13:41:37

IMO products such as Organix are far worse than this we recognise easily as junk.

Most people now realise that they should include too much junk in dc's diet and make choices with that aim. Replacing them with pseudo healthy things by Organix doesn't improve anyone's diet but leads parents to believe they are feeding a healthy diet when it's actually no better than if they were giving much cheaper junk alternatives

moneyone Sun 04-May-14 20:52:07

Organix have played a huge role in weaning both DC - thanks for the "good" wotsits grin. They're toddlers, and I try to give them protein with each snack to keep them going (cheese and cucumber, or breadsticks and houmous). Of course, sometimes they get a freddo instead, but I am evil mother strict abou juice - it's water all the way here!

Moogdroog Mon 05-May-14 07:38:49

Types for avoiding junk - be prepared with healthy snacks when you go out and about, add this is when the junk tends to creep in, when everyone is desperate!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 06-May-14 12:49:12

Thanks for all the comments - am pleased to say DoItTooJulia wins the £250 JL voucher and Organix prize.

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